Breast milk donor bank to debut in San Diego

Posted at 7:38 PM, May 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 22:38:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - California is in a critical need of donor breast milk, and nearly all the donors are coming from northern California. That's because there's only one milk bank for the entire state.

UC San Diego Health is working to change that, by opening up a milk bank in San Diego.

Dr. Lisa Stellwagen says it's all possible thanks to a generous donation last year. Stellwagen is a professor of pediatrics at UCSD Medical School. She's also the Medical Director for Newborn Services at Jacob's Medical Center. 

"Our goal is to drive more milk donation in the county and then make milk more accessible," said Dr. Stellwagen.

They'll be working closely with the San Diego Blood Bank, where women will be able to donate their milk at. Moms can use an app to see when the bloodmobile is in their neighborhood. They'll be required to take a blood test and fill out a questionnaire. 

Jonelle Myers McFarlane donates her extra milk to mothers in need. She hopes the new milk bank will increase donations, awareness, and research.

"To be able to do that locally will only inspire so many more mothers to do donate," said Myers McFarlane. 

The milk bank is expected to open this fall.

If you have milk to donate now, there's a milk bank happening this Sunday at the Blood Bank Donation Center in Carmel Valley from 9 in the morning to 1 p.m.

The milk must be less than six months old, and you'll be required to provide a blood sample.